CARTA could soon enforce downtown parking rules - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

CARTA could soon enforce downtown parking rules

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - More tickets. If you're breaking Chattanooga parking rules, that's what you can expect.

City leaders are moving forward with plans to pass the baton of enforcement off to CARTA.

"They're not supposed to be for someone who's going to a job to come out and meter feed," said District 9 Councilman Peter Murphy.

Murphy, and other city leaders, agree Chattanooga parking meters are being abused and hindering downtown business.

"If you are just squatting a meter, you're going to get tickets that you're probably not getting now," said Murphy.

The city plans to roll parking enforcement duties over to CARTA.

CARTA, which already handles collection and maintenance of the meters, plans to take what it calls an "ambassador approach".

"Our checkers are going to be out with maps for people, to explain how to find stuff," explained Brent Matthews, Parking Director for CARTA, "they'll have change for them, stuff like that."

CARTA will collect the income and pay the city back over the next three years.

CARTA will use revenue to help fund a $800,000 parking structure.

Downtown drivers can expect 600 new single space meters that take credit cards and 40 more multi space machines, similar to the ones on the Northshore,

Matthews says CARTA employees will have more time for enforcement, compared to current police service technicians who also respond to traffic calls.

"We can probably put a little more man power at it," he said.

If passed, CARTA would begin enforcement in October.

Current police service technicians will not lose their jobs, but will cover other duties like accident reports.

CARTA plans to increase its force, but officials say its too soon to tell how many jobs will be up for grabs.

City Council will take up the issue in a second reading vote next Tuesday.


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